Pilot Records Expunction Policy Changes

What is the Pilot Records Improvement Act (PRIA)?

PRIA is a law that requires airlines to perform background checks on pilots before hiring them. It's designed to make sure that airlines have more information to make good hiring decisions.

How does PRIA work?

PRIA requires an airline to ask the FAA and a pilot's former employers for certain records. These records include records of legal enforcement actions against individuals.

What is the new law?

The Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, signed August 1, 2010, changes how PRIA works. The changes it made require the FAA to change how it handles pilot records.

How did the new law change PRIA?

The new law requires employers to give all the records they must report under PRIA to the FAA. The FAA will put those employer records, along with all the records the FAA must provide under PRIA, into a pilot records database. Airlines will then check the pilot records database to fulfill their PRIA requirements.

How did the new law change FAA policy?

The new law required the FAA to retain certain legal enforcement records until the agency is notified that a pilot has died. Previously, some types of legal enforcement records were expunged after five years. The FAA has suspended this expunction policy while it determines the full scope of the new law's effect on the expunction policy. The law required the FAA to begin keeping the records starting August 1, 2010.

When did the FAA stop expunging enforcement records?

The last time the FAA expunged legal enforcement records was on November 1, 2010. This covered records that came due for expunction during October 2010.

Will administrative enforcement actions (warning notices and letters of correction) remain on my record?

No; the expunction policies for these records still applies. The new law does not require the FAA to put these records in the database.

What about failed practical tests? Under the new law, will my practical test history be part of my record?

Yes. The FAA is currently determining the best way to collect and retain this information to meet the requirements of the new law.

How will the FAA keep the data?

The FAA is currently developing the database. An Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) comprised of government and industry representatives will advise the FAA on how to access industry data. Once the database is up and running, an employer will only need to check the database to do a PRIA background check.

Where can I read the Federal Register notice announcing that FAA is suspending its expunction policy?

You can read the notice on the Federal Register website.

If you have any additional questions, email us at 9-AGC-ExpunctionSuspension@faa.gov.

Last updated: Friday, August 5, 2022